Highly Inspirational, Life-Changing! I had the opportunity to read Alice Taylor’s new book A Plea to Our Sons, from a Mother who Cares. This book offers advice and pep talks from Alice and from a variety of Black men on how young black men can find their way in an often confusing and hostile world with self-respect and wisdom. This would be a great gift idea to mature well thinking black men especially in the climate we find ourselves in today.
Johnny Taylor, like so many of us, grew up in the South in times that cannot be imagined today. But he, unlike most of us who experienced those times, has been able to put into words that can be understood by people of today who did not know the times that he lived through, survived, and prospered. Johnny writes with a clarity that anyone can understand and lays the foundation of his life experiences quickly as he describes his early life. His life was shaped first by his family followed for a strong presence in his life by his church. He describes his youthful years so vividly that you feel as though you are there. He tells of things that he did and friends he had in such a manner that you almost feel like his friends are your friends also. His experiences in the Army parallel so many who were drafted to serve in the Viet Nam war. The difference begins to come as we see the faith in God that he has and how it affects him as he is very seriously wounded. His complete faith brings from near death back to health and eventually leads him to success and happiness. If there is one thing that has sustained Johnny all his life, it is his faith and belief in God. This overwhelming faith in God is a something that he tries hard to impart to his readers because he wishes others to get the same rewards from life that he knows awaits all people if they will just believe. He points out that life is not without it’s trials and tribulations. But faith in God, dedication, hard work and confidence that you can do what you want it, will allow you to live a fruitful and rewarding life. He concludes his book by giving us important points that apply to all of us. How important it is to be a family. Keeping bloodlines clear. How life in America has changed when prayer went out of our schools. How America was lead into a war that has no meaning. His keen realization that the next President must dig America out of a hole and get us back on solid, thoughtful, reasonable ground again. His Lessons Learned can be applied to everyday life of everyone, especially among the younger people of our America.
I have read the book!!! I think every teen in the South should have to read it. I also think most adults can relate to the message of this book. It is a life story many have lived and didn’t know how to voice. It is the story I think a parent would like to share with a child and a child would appreciate hearing. The vision of the writer allows the reader to step back in time and experience (temporarily) that moment in time. Keep the voice flowing and know it floats to ears that need to be reminded that the purpose of life is to live and share life’s blessings with others. Thank you for the gift of knowledge.
Growing Up in The South: Lessons Learned provides honest insight into the life, mind and times of a young man coming of age in the American south. The simple, yet significant he lessons learned are interspersed like golden nuggets throughout the read. I trust you will enjoy first finding and then benefiting from these timeless truths.
“When you are truly called, God will assign angels to you to protect your spirit. Your body may take some heavy scars, but your spirit will go unharmed until the work is done. Your Godly spirit will give you the wisdom to fulfill your heart’s desires. Just remember that love will be the driving force to your success…”(p.31). Congratulation to J.T. on the publication of this book, Growing Up In The South: Lessons Learned. Of all the things written in J.T.'s book, it would be the quote above that touched me the most. Without love, as we know, anything and everything we do is nothing. God actually does give His angels charge over us! I felt J.T.’s book was not a “victim of the South” kind of book. He told about his experiences and did not in any way caused me to feel guilty that I am Caucasian. Of course, when someone does write as a victim they should be admired and heard. J. T. wrote with confidence in who he is and what he has become. He writes with heart and conviction regarding his life. His “down to earthiness” is palpable and enviable. He is opinionated, but not offensive. I related to many of the themes he wrote about. J.T. was not judgmental in this book, nor did I see a “preachiness.” he told about his accomplishments, and although I did sense pride it was not in a superfluous manner. His comments a bout "the new liberated woman" (p.69-70) are bold and courageous statements. We need more men who will speak up about their thoughts on women in the home, military and other places. Today, many men seem to be afraid to speak. Not J.T. He was not cruel or mean— just spoke his mind. It probably won”t win him the feminist vote, but at least he is honest! His folksy and laid-back style would perhaps offend some literary types, but I thought it was refreshing. A man just putting his thoughts down without trying to be highfalutin and way above your head! This is a story and reads like a story. However, some of the structure and sequence threw me off a timeor two, but then I would make the connection. It was not like I was totally confused. Many writers switch back and forth between adult and childhood experiences. It is a delicate and difficult balance to achieve. Overall, the book is touching. You finish the book feeling you really know this guy.
Growing up in the South: Lessons Learned is an excellent book to read whether you grew up in the south or not. It is filled with lessons on family values and how to become a responsible person. It also reminds me of how important family values are today and how they should still be treasured.
Growing Up in The South is a wonderful book— something of a page-turner— one you don’t want to put down and are eager to get back to it. The author has an interest life. I found his experience in Vietnam particularly eyeopening and revealing. One reason I like it so much is that Mr. Taylor is not shy in offering his political and philosophical views, all of which have been developed from a lifetime of experience and “lessons learned.” It’s a great read.
Growing Up in The South was a good read. His Vietnam experience was really something. I was stationed at the same place where he was, Cu Chi South Vietnam. I was most impressed by his statement that he had made peace with God prior to his going there. Me in my craziness had always thought that my education and my smarts would get me through. I realized after I came to know Christ as my Lord and Savior that it was His grace that allowed me through such a dangerous part of my life. The theme in this book for me was faith and hard work are the key ingredients for success. Thanks for sharing.